Over-the-top service is about providing every, single customer with the best possible experience. And while that sounds simple, it’s a concept with which plenty of small business owners struggle.
It’s a tall order, especially when you’re a one-woman operation, since you may think the infrastructure just isn’t there to provide the same level of service as bigger competitors. But, believe it or not, your lack of infrastructure is more of a strength than a weakness. Over-the-top service isn’t about smiling before you answer the phone, or placating irate customers with coupons and freebies. Instead, it’s about approaching each and every one of your customers with an honest intent to ensure their experience is absolutely amazing.
Over-the-Top Service Isn’t About Making Dissatisfied Customers Happy
Too many people think OTT service is just about giving stuff away. A customer gets upset, so you solve it either by discounting their next order, or making it free. When you’re just starting out, though, every dollar is precious and you really can’t afford to just give everything away to make a customer happy. Luckily a business that truly provides over-the-top service shouldn’t let problems get to that point. Customers don’t want a company that placates them – they want one that makes an order effortless. Larger businesses rarely provide that level of service because, as they grow, they adopt bad habits to make a large-scale operation more feasible.
Your Size is Actually Your Strength
Being a one-woman business isn’t a weakness – in fact, it’s one of your greatest strengths! You’re in a prime position to ensure your customers don’t just have a good experience, but that it’s truly effortless. After all, your business hasn’t adopted any bad habits, and changing how you operate is quick and easy. Every small business owner, from the freelance writer to the antiquer, who asks her customers and clients what they want, and takes the time to ensure those demands are met, makes her customers’ experiences effortless. Even if you charge a little more, or take a little longer, people will appreciate the fact you take their time seriously.
The Personal Touch is Important!
Did you know that a business normally hears from just 4% of their dissatisfied customers? The key to over-the-top customer service is realizing the onus is on you, not them, to reach out. Follow-up on every order. You can give them a quick call, or shoot them an e-mail, but open up a channel of communication and ask them how their order went. Most of the time you won’t get a reply, but this tiny bit of effort goes a long way. It proves that you really do care about your customers, and want to do everything you can to make sure they had a great experience.
A one-woman operation is in a much better position to provide over-the-top service than larger, established competitors. OTT service is so much more than cheerfully answering the phone, or giving discounts to angry customers. It’s about providing a level of service that’s so utterly unobtrusive and effortless, that your customers look forward to working with you. A business’s success is built on its early clients and customers. So remember to leverage your size as the strength it is, and give every order that personal touch. As you begin to grow, those good habits will be built into your business, and you’ll still provide that same over-the-top service you did back when you were just that small, one-woman business!
As a one-woman show, how do you provide over-the-top service to your customers?
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Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @mycorporation.